Publication Date



Journal of Alzheimer's Disease



Accurately identifying cognitive changes in Mexican American (MA) adults using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) requires knowledge of population-based norms for the MMSE, a scale which has widespread use in research settings.


To describe the distribution of MMSE scores in a large cohort of MA adults, assess the impact of MMSE requirements on their clinical trial eligibility, and explore which factors are most strongly associated with their MMSE scores.


Visits between 2004–2021 in the Cameron County Hispanic Cohort were analyzed. Eligible participants were ≥18 years old and of Mexican descent. MMSE distributions before and after stratification by age and years of education (YOE) were assessed, as was the proportion of trial-aged (50–85– year-old) participants with MMSE <24, a minimum MMSE cutoff most frequently used in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) clinical trials. As a secondary analysis, random forest models were constructed to estimate the relative association of the MMSE with potentially relevant variables.


The mean age of the sample set (n = 3,404) was 44.4 (SD, 16.0) years old and 64.5% female. Median MMSE was 28 (IQR, 28-29). The percentage of trial-aged participants (n = 1,267) with MMSE <24 was 18.6% overall and 54.3% among the subset with 0–4 YOE (n = 230). The five variables most associated with the MMSE in the study sample were education, age, exercise, C-reactive protein, and anxiety.


The minimum MMSE cutoffs in most phase III prodromal-to-mild AD trials would exclude a significant proportion of trial-aged participants in this MA cohort, including over half of those with 0–4 YOE.


Cameron County Hispanic Cohort, clinical trial eligibility, Mexican Americans, Mini-Mental State Examination



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